Monday, September 15, 2008

green ways

Canals have long provided easy long-distance walking paths across Brittany. Major projects in the last few years have now opened hundreds of kilometres of old railway tracks for walkers and cyclists. Routes from Roscoff to Concarneau and Carhaix to Le-Meen-Le-Grand provide a main axis in the west, with Carhaix taking its traditional place as the centre of a communications network. The concept is admirable, but there are drawbacks and the art of maintaining a balance between development and natural routes is always a fine one. Paths gravelled or even covered with tarmac make for ease of stride but do little to enhance the countryside, and fairly level standard width tracks often lined by tall trees cannot provide quite the same quality of walking experience as the coastal paths or chemins creux and open moorland trails of the infinitely varied Breton countryside. On the other hand, these green ways are a superb resource for straightforward physical exercise and for getting about Brittany, making forages into the wilder surroundings and settlements.
The association is preparing an up-to-date guide to the green ways now available - coming soon on the website (

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